Federal government enters $66.7 M funding agreement with Edmonton and affordable housing operators

The City of Edmonton and the federal government are working with affordable housing operates to fund repairs to existing housing units across the city.

Close to 2,000 social housing units owned by the city are set to be renovated by 2026

Civida's head office in downtown Edmonton.
Civida's head office in downtown Edmonton. The housing organization receives more than $25 million in provincial funding annually. (Craig Ryan/CBC)

The City of Edmonton and the federal government are working with affordable housing operates to fund repairs to existing affordable housing units across the city.

The renovations are set to impact Civida and HomeEd-run units and include foundational repairs and electrical upgrades among others. 

At city hall Friday afternoon, Randy Boissonnault, minister of tourism, announced the federal government is investing up to $19.5 million through the national housing co-investment fund to go toward refurbishments of municipally owned housing.

Alongside Boissonnault, Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said the city is contributing $14 million of existing funding to the project, while affordable housing operators will provide $33.2 million.

Sohi said affordable housing should be considered core infrastructure and should not be left in despair until problems become severe.

"We don't let our hospitals and schools deteriorate, but we let affordable housing deteriorate. That needs to change," Sohi said. 

Nearly 900 affordable housing units operated by Civida, the largest social housing provider in Edmonton, are in need of major renovation, according to the city's capital budget update.

HomeEd, the city's non-profit housing corporation, will recieve $32 million to refurbish over 1,000 mixed income townhomes and apartments.

At least half of HomeEd units are required to be rented below 80 per cent of market rate for the next 20 years.

Between Civida and HomeEd properities, 1,955 housing units are set to be repaired.

Maintenance concerns

In August, CBC spoke with residents in three Civida buildings about their own concerns.

Marianne Snoek lived in the Menisa 1 townhouse complex in Mill Woods since 2017. She moved out in September after she said her repeated concerns over black mould and structural damage were not attended to. 

mould under sink
Black mould under Marianne Snoek's sink in her previous townhouse had been spreading since 2017, she said. (Craig Ryan/CBC)

Snoek said she asked Civida for a solution to the mould problem frequently over the years — over the phone, to the site manager in person and during annual inspections. But Snoek said no one showed up to contain or treat it. 

She says she is happy to hear about the strides to maintain and repair units, but she does not believe renovations will be the solution.

"Honestly, I think they should just rebuild because those problems are not going to get fixed. There was so much damage," Snoek told CBC Thursday. 

The repairs are set to be complete by February 2026.


Katarina Szulc is a reporter for CBC News in Edmonton. She previously worked at CityNews 1130 in Vancouver. You can email story ideas to Katarina.Szulc@cbc.ca.